Curbing the flammability of epoxy resin

In a paper to be published in a forthcoming issue of Nano, a team of researchers from Henan University have investigated the flame retardant performance of epoxy resin using a boron nitride nanosheet decorated with cobalt ...

Formation of the moon brought water to Earth

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis. Both were essential for Earth to develop life. Planetologists ...

Technique streamlines fabrication of 2-D circuits

Exotic 2-D materials hold great promise for creating atom-thin circuits that could power flexible electronics, optoelectronics, and other next-generation devices. But fabricating complex 2-D circuits requires multiple time-consuming, ...

Hybrid material may outperform graphene in several applications

Materials that are hybrid constructions (combining organic and inorganic precursors) and quasi-two-dimensional (with malleable and highly compactable molecular structures) are on the rise in several technological applications, ...

Phase transition dynamics in two-dimensional materials

Scientists from National University of Singapore have discovered the mechanism involved when transition metal dichalcogenides on metallic substrates transform from the semiconducting 1H-phase to the quasi-metallic 1T'-phase.

Nano-infused ceramic could report on its own health

A ceramic that becomes more electrically conductive under elastic strain and less conductive under plastic strain could lead to a new generation of sensors embedded into structures like buildings, bridges and aircraft able ...

A newly discovered catalyst promises cheaper hydrogen production

A new catalyst could dramatically decrease the cost of producing hydrogen, one of the cleanest renewable fuels. Based on molybdenum sulfide, the catalyst was developed by a group at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research ...

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Molybdenum ( /ˌmɒlɪbˈdiːnəm/ mol-ib-dee-nəm or /məˈlɪbdɨnəm/ mə-lib-di-nəm), is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek Μόλυβδος molybdos, meaning lead, itself proposed as a loanword from Anatolian Luvian and Lydian languages, since its ores were confused with lead ores. The free element, which is a silvery metal, has the sixth-highest melting point of any element. It readily forms hard, stable carbides, and for this reason it is often used in high-strength steel alloys. Molybdenum does not occur as a free metal on Earth, but rather in various oxidation states in minerals. Industrially, molybdenum compounds are used in high-pressure and high-temperature applications, as pigments and catalysts.

Molybdenum minerals have long been known, but the element was "discovered" (in the sense of differentiating it as a new entity from the mineral salts of other metals) in 1778 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele. The metal was first isolated in 1781 by Peter Jacob Hjelm.

Most molybdenum compounds have low solubility in water, but the molybdate ion MoO42− is soluble and forms when molybdenum-containing minerals are in contact with oxygen and water.

Molybdenum-containing enzymes are used as catalysts by some bacteria to break the chemical bond in atmospheric molecular nitrogen, allowing biological nitrogen fixation. At least 50 molybdenum-containing enzymes are now known in bacteria and animals, though only the bacterial and cyanobacterial enzymes are involved in nitrogen fixation. Owing to the diverse functions of the remainder of the enzymes, molybdenum is a required element for life in higher organisms (eukaryotes), though not in all bacteria.

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